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APSU to present world premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s ‘Five Savory Dishes’

November 13, 2019 | Email This Post Print This Post

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TNAustin Peay State University (APSU) Department of Theatre and Dance and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA) will present “Five Savory Dishes” – a world premiere evening of one-act plays written Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley from Thursday, November 21st through Sunday, November 24th, 2019.

John Patrick Shanley

John Patrick Shanley

The performances are 7:30pm Thursday-Saturday with matinee performances at 2:00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

“Five Savory Dishes” is a series of short plays from Shanley – the Oscar-, Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright who penned “Doubt” and “Moonstruck.” The plays deal with the confusingly sophisticated lives of modern people living in between reality and a dream state. Like a good meal, it’s complex, savory and a transitory state between empty and full … the state of modern existence.

Shanley also will lead public masterclasses and workshops February 10th-14th on campus.

Shanley is a graduate of New York University and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. He received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for best screenplay written for the screen for his 1987 film “Moonstruck.” Shanley directed his script of1990’s “Joe Versus the Volcano” starring Tom Hanks and wrote two songs for it.

In 1995 he wrote the screenplay for the film “Congo.” In 2005 Shanley’s play “Doubt: A Parable” awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and the Drama Desk and Tony awards for best play. He wrote and directed the film version of “Doubt” in 2008 starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. The film was nominated for five Oscars and many other film industry awards. Shanley is the author of more than 23 plays.

Freddie Ashley

Freddie Ashley

The world premiere plays will be directed by Freddie Ashley, artistic director of Actor’s Express in Atlanta. He has directed over 40 Actor’s Express productions and is a multiple Suzi Bass Award winner (best play – “Angels in America,” “The Crucible”; best musical – “Rent”; best director – “Rent,” “Angels in America,” “Grey Gardens”; best actor – “The Whale”). Other directing work includes Aurora Theatre, Dad’s Garage, Jewish Theatre of the South and Atlanta Lyric Theatre.

New play development work includes Playwrights’ Center, Kennedy Center, Alliance Theatre (recipient of the 2007 Regional Theatre Tony Award), Page 73 and the New Group, working with playwrights such as Joshua Harmon, Lindsey Ferrentino, Michael Lew and Marco Ramirez. He has received the Elliot Hayes Award for Dramaturgy from the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Medallion of Excellence.

Ashley is vice president of the National New Play Network. He is on faculty at Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University, and he holds a Master of Fina Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

“Five Savory Dishes” is produced by the Austin Peay State University Department of Theatre & Dance as part of the 2019-20 Acuff season, which also features a Drama Desk-nominated director/choreographer, a Jeff-nominated actor and the U.S.’s top flying effects company for the spring musical “The Addams Family.”

The Austin Peay State University Department of Theatre and Dance is excited to host these guests on campus! Tickets can be purchased online at Advance online student/military tickets are $5.00, and adult tickets are $10.00. Cash prices at the door are student/military, $7.00, and adult, $12.00.

More information is available at, call the APSU Trahern Theatre Box Office at 931.221.7379 or email .

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